New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is proposing a tax on the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers to pay for much-needed repairs to the city's subway system.
The tax hike would bring in about $800 million a year.
De Blasio plans to announce the proposal Monday.
Combined with a 2017 federal income tax rate of 39.6 percent, married couples in New York City with incomes in excess of $1 million already pay a combined income tax rate of 50.35 percent, with those over $2 million at almost 53 percent.
Subway power outages, long delays and even a derailed subway auto led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency for the system back in June.
"I was an invited guest and spoke at the mayor's event because I'm one of four appointees on the MTA board", Vanterpool said, explaining that she supported the mayor's proposal.
"After saying the MTA doesn't need money, we're glad the Mayor reversed himself", said Joe Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The top tax rate would rise from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent. "While it is constructive to focus discussion on the transit system's long-term capital needs, new funding streams to support these needs should come from motorists - who are not contributing their fair share to the MTA - through congestion pricing or other charges for motor vehicle use". Did they view it an election-year stunt, or were they more angry with Cuomo for his quick dismissal of De Blasio's proposal?
A state authority controls the subway, and the tax increase would have to pass the state legislature, where Republicans control the Senate.
It would also fund reduced-price MetroCards for low-income riders.
De Blasio's office said the tax would lbe paid by an estimated 32,000 New York City tax filers, or 0.8 percent of the city's filers. About 800,000 people in New York City who are at or below the federal poverty level - about $24,500 for a family of four - could qualify for half-price MetroCards, city officials said.
Asked how he arrived at the threshold of $500,000 a year, de Blasio would say only that it was the same model he'd proposed to pay for universal pre-K - an idea that failed when Gov. Cuomo instead persuaded the legislature to fund the program statewide out of general revenue.
"We need to get the subway system working again so that New Yorkers can get to work", Mr. Raskin said, "but we also need to make the system accessible for the poorest New Yorkers so they can find jobs, education and economic opportunities in the first place". "We can not ask New Yorkers to wait one year to start repairs", he said.